S’pore’s first nationwide e-waste management system launches on July 1

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Members of the public will be able to conveniently recycle their e-waste with the new management system starting July 1.

Under Singapore’s Zero Waste Masterplan, electronic waste (e-waste) is one of the priority waste streams identified.

The new e-waste management system is based on the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) approach, where producers are responsible for managing the end-of-life disposal of electrical and electronic products that they supply to the Singapore market.

Earlier this year, ALBA E-waste Smart Recycling (ALBA) was appointed to be the Producer Responsibility Scheme Operator that ensures regulated e-waste are properly collected and recycled in the coming five years.

Start of e-waste EPR scheme

Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment, Amy Khor visited Harvey Norman at Millenia Walk on June 30.

She was attending an event which marks the start of the e-waste EPR scheme.

At Harvey Norman, she demonstrated the use of an ALBA 3-in-1 Bin which collects ICT equipment, light bulbs and batteries.

Photo by Kow Zi Shan.

Speaking to the media, Khor said that reducing and recycling e-waste is crucial to make Singapore a zero-waste nation, in light of a growing demand of electronic gadgets. She urged people in Singapore to actively participate in e-waste recycling as more bins are now available.

These bins can be found at multiple locations islandwide, including several Fairprice, Sheng Shiong and Best Denki outlets.

There are also smaller bins which will only accept batteries and bulbs.

ALBA e-waste bins collect a wide range of electronic items including household batteries.

However, they do not collect e-waste that are not regulated under the EPR scheme.

Some examples are electrical fans, food processors and blenders, microwaves, rice cookers, toaster ovens, vacuum cleaners, digital watches and coffee machines.

Also, do note that you do not have to put your e-waste in a plastic bag or a box when you drop them off at the bin.

1,000kg of e-waste collected in two weeks during soft launch

Since the soft launch of e-waste recycling bins at nine locations on June 4, more than 1,000kg of e-waste has been collected within two weeks. They comprise mainly printers, mobile phones, light bulbs and personal computers, according to ALBA.

More bins have since been deployed across publicly accessible areas including town centres, shopping malls, government buildings, Residents’ Committee Centres, community centres, supermarkets and retail outlets, according to the National Environment Agency.

As the appointed operator, ALBA will categorise and weigh regulated e-waste at a dedicated facility upon collection before sending the regulated e-waste to selected recyclers in Singapore for recycling and material recovery.

These recyclers will have to adhere to strict data sanitisation standards. Records of all data sanitisation processes will be kept and audited.

All data stored in the devices collected will be deleted or destroyed.

Earn points and exchange them for rewards

For the ALBA e-waste bins, one can also earn some rewards when they recycle their unwanted electronic items.

With the ALBA STEP UP app, users that scan the QR Code at ALBA’s e-waste bins and take a picture of the e-waste they drop off will be rewarded with “CO2 points”.

According to Fons Krist, General Manager at ALBA, as of now, all recyclables yield the same points.

With enough points, rewards can be redeemed from ALBA’s partners.

Currently, there are 15 available rewards from 10 retail partners, for example, users can convert their CO2 points to Grab Reward points or redeem a Stojo discount.

Krist shared with Mothership that more partners will be on the way to expand the rewards offered on the app.

The app also provides the location of the nearest recycling points and upcoming events where users can earn more CO2 points.

Photo via Zi Shan Kow

Where to recycle?

From July 1, you can recycle e-waste through the following avenues:

Available e-waste recycling bins at public locations

Quarterly collection drives at residential estates

Bulky item disposal services provided by Town Councils for large household appliances

Free one-for-one take-back service of a product

(If you purchase a fridge and have it delivered to your home, the retailer can help you to take back your old fridge for recycling.)

Over-the-counter collection services provided by retailers at some of their outlets

On demand (chargeable) doorstep collection services provided by ALBA E-Waste

Drop off at ALBA E-Waste depot at 20 Tuas Loop, Singapore 637350

You can find more information about the above recycling avenues and a map of recycling locations for each type of regulated e-waste on NEA’s website and ALBA’s website.

Top images by Zi Shan Kow